Celebrated chefs like Mark Peel of L.A.'s vaunted Campanile showcasing innovative cuisine...
The 2012 Palm Desert Food & Wine Festival had it all, colorful pours included.
I thought I'd died and gone to carnivor heaven when I discovered this little gem, easily my favorite that day...venison neck croquette with huckleberry mustard, cocoa coffee crumble, pickled Fresno chiles, and crispy shallot.
I paired this meat-lovers small bite with a 2009 Hall Cabernet. Big fruit and even bigger tannins tamed the game...and made me want to take up hunting...especially after I met the culinary brain responsible for this delectable creation; Chris Crary, Chef de Cuisine of Whist Resuarant inside the Viceroy Hotel in Santa Monica. He's got game, for sure!
So what was I craving on a hot, star-filled desert evening at Flemings recently?
Believe it or not, I wanted lamb...seared chops to be exact, atop an addicting house-made chimichurri with polenta fries...my generous pour of Milbrandt Syrah made it all come together. The chops are part of Flemings new 'Small Plates, Big Pours' menu, and they paired perfectly, even on this sweltering evening, with the smooth, chocolately Syrah, one of my favorites.
Of course, the chocolate truffles with caramel and sea salt are NOT on the new menu..but maybe you can sweet talk Chef Dave when he's not so slammed in the kitchen.